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Spain Park Chamber Choir Shines at UA

November 15, 2017

The Spain Park High School Chamber Choir was recently invited to perform as the Guest Performing Choir at the 30th Annual University of Alabama Honor Choir Festival. This was the first time a choir from Spain Park High School has been invited to participate. 

The twenty-five Spain Park students sang alongside more than 130 other high school choir students from across the region, all of whom were led by Dr. Troy Robertson, the Director of Choirs at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas.

The choir performed an arrangement they selected themselves composed of “Pure Imagination” from “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” an Estonian song called “Õhtul,” and “The Wisdom of the Moon,” featuring Spain Park senior soloist Anna Morgan.

Choir director Mr. Jim Schaeffer, himself a former member of the Honor Choir, jumped at the chance to showcase his the Chamber Choir at his alma mater.

“I always looked forward to sitting and singing with the high school students on those long rehearsal days,” Schaeffer said. “It was an honor to have the opportunity to share this experience with my own students.” 

The experience was not only special for Mr. Schaeffer, but for the students as well.

“[Singing as a part of the Guest Performing Choir] gave me the opportunity to work with a wonderful clinician and learn some really great music,” senior Wesley Whetstone said. “Working with other members outside of Spain Park is always exciting because it gives you the chance to meet other people who genuinely share the same passion for singing and music that you do.”

The campus visit also provided the students with a taste of collegiate life. They got to see what lies beyond high school.

“We took in the full college experience by touring the campus, eating at the Ferguson Student center, and riding the Crimson Ride transportation,” Schaeffer said. 

Whetstone, for example, sat next to Crimson Tide standout running back Damien Harris on a bus ride at one point.

“We football fans sometimes forget that the players are actually college students,” Schaeffer commented on Whetstone’s quasi-celebrity sighting.

Schaeffer knows this trip was one his students won’t soon forget: an opportunity to interact with other singers - fellow musicians who ultimately share the same great passion for fine arts.